We will never forget Bill and Frank.
The new series «The Last of Us» focuses on new characters — Bill and Frank, while Joel and Ellie are somewhere on the sidelines. «A Long, Long Time» changes the canon, but makes the story more dramatic and powerful.
At the beginning of the episode, Joel tells Ellie about the origins of the infection. Cordyceps mutated and ended up in one of the basic products like flour or sugar. Global branded products that are sold all over the world have been the catalyst for disaster. People ate cereal, pancakes or regular bread for breakfast, after a few hours they became ill, and then they bit the healthy ones. Humanity had no chance of salvation.
The government has acted harshly during the pandemic. People from the countryside were taken to quarantine zones, but if there was not enough space, they were dropped off along the road and shot. The dead person will not get infected and will not bite anyone.
Bill (Nick Offerman) escaped this fate — he hid in his own house when the soldiers evacuated the population of the small town of Lincoln. He never believed politicians and soldiers, and thanks to this he survived.
The hero was left alone in the whole city: he had a lot of food, fuel and a hardware store next door. It is not a problem for a handy guy to build a fence and establish perimeter protection to feel safe. And the generator made it possible to cook food on a gas stove and turn on the light within reasonable limits.
Bill’s life changed dramatically after 4 years. A man fell into the trap — the device showed that he was not infected. The stranger’s name was Frank (Murray Bartlett), he hadn’t eaten for 2 days and asked for something to eat. Surprisingly, the paranoid Bill let him in, allowed him to take a shower and gave him clean clothes. He did not feed the stranger with canned food: being an aesthete, the hero cooked a rabbit and decorated the dish like in a restaurant. To accompany the meal, Bill poured a glass of Beaujolais, a wine that pairs well with rabbit. Frank noted this — the characters clearly have a lot in common. They like the same song, both can play the piano and love to sing.
A chance meeting brought together two vulnerable souls. And although they went through quarrels and misunderstandings, the heroes remained together. Frank even found adequate people who can sometimes be called friends. Once contacted by radio with Tess, they met and began a mutually beneficial cooperation: Joel suggested that the fence would not last even a year, and he could bring coils of high-strength aluminum.
Before Tess died, Joel asked Joel to take the girl to Bill and Frank. She believed them and believed that they would help Ellie get to the Cicadas. The hero fulfilled Tess’ last request, but did not know that songs from the 80s had been played on the radio in recent months. For those who have forgotten: according to the cipher, the 80s are problems.
Bill and Frank have been together for 16 years, and the words Joel hears at the end of the episode break not only his heart, but ours as well. He could not protect Tess, but he can save this fragile girl and will do it. He doesn’t care about the West, somewhere far away in Wyoming, his brother needs help. That was Joel’s mission, and so was Bill’s.
The story of Bill and Frank is revealed in detail only in the series: in the game, we saw one Bill, who was sad for the departed love. The only thing we knew about Frank before was that he was cramped in the same city with Bill and wanted freedom. The show devoted much more time to the drama in Bill’s life.
Episode director Peter Hoare and writer Craig Mazin showcased life after the collapse of humanity with very different people — and Bill, with his paranoid streaks but subtle soul, fits perfectly. A wonderful dramatic episode with breathtakingly beautiful music will not leave anyone indifferent. If perishing and to change canon, then precisely so.